Carlos Gracida Memorial at Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup opening

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THERE was a poignant opening to the 2014 Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship when a large crowd turned out for the Carlos Gracida Memorial Trophy match.

It was played to commemorate the legendary Mexican player who died in a polo accident in February.

Members of his family travelled from America and asked that the match be played on Cowdray Park’s Lawns 1 ground, the scene of Carlos’s unequalled ten victories in the Cowdray Park Gold Cup.

A silver cup, endowed by Charles and Lila Pearson, was presented to the winners of the match played between Thai Polo and last year’s Gold Cup winners Zacara.

With 14 teams competing, play continues daily with the highlight of the coming weekend being the Midhurst Town Cup on Sunday (June 29) between the UAE team of Sheika Maitha Al Maktoum, the only woman in the championship, and Lyndon Lea’s Zacara side.

The Town Cup, played at Cowdray Park since 1953, was presented to the late John Cowdray by the town’s business community for bringing international recognition to the town.

The Fernhurst-based leather goods business, Aspinal of London, will once again present prizes. The match starts at 3pm and entry is £5 per adult, under 12s free.

Results are available on

The Argentine Ambassador’s Cup takes place on Sunday, July 6, quarter-finals on July 12/13, semi-finals on Wednesday, July 16 
and the final on Sunday, July 20.

A popular feature of the Gold Cup final weekend will be the conclusion of the BLOOM Gin British Ladies’ Open Championship taking place on Saturday, July 19.